President Donald Trump called for bipartisan unity on immigration and infrastructure policy to unreceptive Democratic ears in the annual State of the Union address on Tuesday night.
The televised address, watched on average by just over 40 million Americans in years past, was Trump’s first State of the Union address since taking office one year ago.
University of Connecticut eighth-semester student and president of the UConn College Democrats Steven Della-Giustina said he was not among the viewers of the president’s address.
“I was not going to throw away my time watching him speak,” Della-Giustina said. “Though I am really excited for Joe Kennedy and Maxine Waters’ rebuttals.”
The Daily Campus reached out to the UConn College Republicans, but they had no comment on the address.
Among those who watched the president’s address was eighth-semester UConn student Joseph Gatti, who said he was “optimistic.”
“I hope his message will rally a sense of unity in the days to come,” Gatti said.
In his 90-minute address, Trump looked back on his first year in office, noting the achievements and campaign promises he’s carried out.
“Our massive tax cuts provide tremendous relief for the Middle Class and small businesses,” Trump said. “For the last year we have sought to restore the bonds of trust between our citizens and their government.”
Trump often alluded to guests invited by his administration seated in the gallery of the chamber, including the Cuevas and Mickens families, whom he used to pivot the address toward his immigration policy.
“Tonight, I am calling on the Congress to finally close the deadly loopholes that have allowed MS-13, and other criminals, to break into our country,” Trump said. “We have proposed new legislation that will fix our immigration laws, and support our ICE and Border Patrol Agents, so that this cannot ever happen again.”
Trump’s proposed immigration plan includes “four pillars:” Granting legal status to 1.8 million Dreamers, securing the southern border with a wall, ending the visa lottery system and ending the policy of “chain migration.”
“These four pillars represent a down-the-middle compromise, and one that will create a safe, modern, and lawful immigration system,” Trump said. “It is time to reform these outdated immigration rules, and finally bring our immigration system into the 21st century.”
Rep. Joseph Kennedy III, D-MA, provided the Democratic Party’s rebuttal to Trump’s address in which he restated the party’s support for undocumented minors.
“To all the dreamers watching tonight, let me be absolutely clear, you are part of our story,” Kennedy said. “We will fight for you and we will not walk away— we will not walk away.”
Andrew Miano is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.